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People-centred public health$
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Jane South, Judy White, and Mark Gamsu

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305316

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305316.001.0001

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The lay perspective

The lay perspective

(p.60) (p.61) Five The lay perspective
People-centred public health

Jane South

Judy White

Mark Gamsu

Policy Press

This chapter reports on lay perspectives on community involvement, drawn mainly from interviews with lay health workers and service users in the People in Public Health study, but also using evidence collected from community health champion and health trainer programmes. The chapter looks at various motivations for becoming a volunteer, barriers to joining and progressing in lay health roles, and pathways to personal development, employment and education. Using quotations where individuals speak about their experiences, the chapter provides some fresh insights into what it means to volunteer in communities. Lay skills and qualities are discussed, including the question of what a ‘peer’ is. The chapter concludes that life experience, local knowledge, and an empathy with the community allow lay health workers to carry out public health roles.

Keywords:   lay, community, volunteer journey, motivations, skills, peer, life experience

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